Race Schedule and Results

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I believe...

On Tuesday I did my first training test for Coach Sharpie... my HR test.   After what seemed like a plethora of mishaps leading up to it (I won't tell you about all the things that should have pointed me in the direction of doing it another day), I found myself at the track doing my prescribed workout.  In the pouring down rain.

But it went well, despite some technological mishaps (I'm telling you, someone must have been doing voodoo on me somewhere in the world...) but I was able to get the numbers that Sharpie wanted.  Success. 

After giving her my data, Sharpie very calmly explained (in a great way that incorporated pizza... I knew she was the perfect coach) that I've been cooking the edges of my crust and not letting my insides cook properly.  It made sense... that's what I've always done.  She said "heart rate training is hard.  You are going to be running and biking slow.  You will get frustrated.  You will question what I'm doing.  Believe in the process".  Fitting that she says this... if you remember this post, I got an Endorphin Warrior Training Bracelet recently with my chosen word and new motto for 2012... BELIEVE.

And I do believe in the process.  Even after getting my HR zones and being told where I will be training for the next few weeks, I didn't freak out (okay, I kind of freaked out a little, but it wasn't bad).  I believe that Sharpie knows her stuff.  I believe that she's going to make me a better athlete.  I believe that she will teach me a million things in the process.

And after talking to Tom about it all over lunch, today's "aha" moment came (I think I'm going to have a lot of these working with Sharpie).  So for the last three or four years, I've done no heart rate training.  None.  I have a great watch with all the functions of HR training, but I don't use it.  Our training has always been together, with me going hard in hopes of "getting better" and Tom along side of me, never seeming to put out as much effort.  I always said to him "you are holding back to train with me and you'd be so much better if you just went at your pace", but he never left my side.  Come race day, I've not had the ability to go hard without dying.  Tom gets faster with what seems like little effort in training.  It baffled my mind for so long.  And yet, after one conversation with Carole and it all makes sense. You see, he's been cooking his crust at a slow, even pace.  He's building his aerobic engine every time we train together.

And now it's my turn to make my crust better.  I haven't even really full on started training with my coach (that "officially starts" on Monday), but I already see what I've been missing.  It's going to be a great year.

I do believe.

And yes Sharpie, game on!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Seven Atlanta "things"

Kevin at Ironman by Thirty knows that I've been kind of in a blogging funk lately (aka, I don't do anything but ramble when I do actually post and my brain just can't think of anything exciting to write about).  So he tagged me in a post in which I have to list 7 things that I'm looking forward to in Atlanta.  This should be easy!!!
1.)  Roads with undulations.  I love the fact that I live in the country and can get to an empty road in 3 miles, but... there aren't any hills.  This is a typical road in Delaware and while pretty, just doesn't do anything for making me a better biker!
2.) The sports teams... just think of all the new things Tom and I can do on "date" night.  As a matter of fact, we're going to see the Atlanta Hawks play the Chicago Bulls when we are there in two weeks!  YAY for professional sports teams!
 3.) Chick-fil-a on every corner.  I love me some Chick-fil-a.   I love the way the company is run.  I love the people that work there.  I love their chicken sandwiches and their waffle fries.  I probably won't love the amount of weight I will gain from having one on every corner though. 

4.) The history.  The south has so much rich history and I'm excited to learn more about it.  Tom and I love that Delaware is an old town... by that I mean the main street has most of the original buildings, many of which just by looking at, you can imagine what is looked like in the 1800's.  There's something really cool about what makes a city and I know that Atlanta has an amazingly extensive history that we get to explore.
5.) Learning all of the Peachtree streets and whatnot.  hehehe... I swear, every road you turn on is a Peachtree, or every shopping center is a Peachtree.  Should make things fun when giving directions - "turn left on Peachtree and then pass the Peachtree mall and then make a slight right on Peachtree, past Peachtree Church." 
6.) The close proximity to other cities - In Delaware, we are 2 hours from Cincinnati and 2 hours from Cleveland.  And while those two cities are fun, after 31 years, there isn't a whole lot new to see.  Within just  a few hours drive from Atlanta, I can go to Athens, Chattanooga, Augusta, Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery, Knoxville, Nashville, Charlotte and Savannah.  Hello lots of things to do!!!

7.) People want to come visit.  I've lived for 10 years in Delaware and although it's a lovely town, people aren't really quick to say "hey, I'd love to come visit".  When we tell people that we are moving to Atlanta, most of them say "I can't wait to come visit".  I am so excited to have people come here, be it to actually visit me or as a stop over on another trip, to come train with us or to escape the cold.  It will be fun to show all of my friends and family our new town!

Sometimes I get sad about leaving (for instance, yesterday, when I burst into tears at my family Christmas), but I realize that there are so many great things that lie ahead of me in Atlanta.  The possibilities are endless.  The adventures will be fun!

And luckily plane tickets are easy to buy if I miss my small town!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday baking and other randomness

I love holiday cookies.  Sugar cookies with icing... probably one of my favorite things in the whole world.  But I don't do nearly as much holiday baking as I'd like.  Mainly because if I bake it, I eat it and well, that never works out well for me in the end. They always taste so good going down though... hum...

Anyway, last Thursday we celebrated Christmas with my in-laws since they are going to be gone for the holidays.  I made Santa hat cupcakes which I thought turned out really cute.

Then on Saturday we had dinner with some friends and I decided to make reindeer cake pops (Hey Nicole... if you are reading this, they weren't too hard, but man... I have a long way to go to make mine look as amazing as yours!!!).  Fun little holiday treat and I was pretty darn impressed with myself because my baking skills usually including breaking apart the squares of cookie dough and placing them on a cookie sheet! :)

Our family has started a tradition of getting together at the Columbus Zoo before the holidays and going to the WildLights.  Basically, our amazing zoo transforms for the holidays with nearly 3 million led lights.  It's pretty amazing and we always have fun getting a hot chocolate and walking around the zoo at dark, and then going out for dinner as a group.  It's things like this that I'm really going to miss when I move, although I might have to make a special trip back in December to keep this tradition going (that is, unless I'm home for the holidays!!!)

Speaking of Atlanta.  We put an offer in on a house last week.  It didn't work out.  We think that the lady selling the house was using the offer against another buyer as leverage.  I feel like we got played.  Guess it wasn't meant to me.  Our search continues.  As of 1/20, we're going to be homeless unless we find something so keep us in your thoughts.

Lastly, I have decided not to do the Goofy Challenge.  I actually decided a little while ago just based on the busy time of year for us. We never imagined that we'd be moving when we signed up.  The race is the weekend of 1/7 and we are closing on our house here in Delaware on 1/13.  We had already shortened the trip from six days to three a few months back, but the more we thought about it, the more we realized the timing couldn't be worse.  Tom's coming off an amazing running year, but I think he's a bit burnt out (he ran six full marathons this season, PRing by over 25 minutes, did a full 140.6, and then ran across the country in 16 days!), I never really got my groove back after my accident and we know that 2012 will give us a lot of opportunity to do new things.  Coach Sharpie has a lot in store for me so she was happy with my decision!  It's not to say I will never do it, but 2012 just isn't my year.

Hope you all have a fabulous holiday.  Remember what this time of year is all about...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Picking a leader

I've not hid the fact that I've been a self coached triathlete for the last 5+ years.  There were a lot of reasons for my decision, and we all know that there have been tons of talks both ways on which is better.  It's definitely a personal preference in my opinion... all depending on so many factors - your goals, your objectives, your financial situation, your willingness to have someone else dictate your ass kicking sessions.  Being self coached has worked for me in the past.  I'm lucky to have an amazingly talented husband to train with and we have the flexibility to workout when we want. 

But I'll admit when there is something missing and lately I've felt it.  It's not the "off-season-I-don't-want-to-do-anything" feeling (yep, I have that too).  For me, I've been missing the structure.  I feel like a lot of my workouts don't have purpose.  Kind of like I'm winging it and definitely not pushing myself to my potential.  Looking at my race schedule the last few years, I've gotten by, but I am ready for a change.  And what's a girl to do when she wants to get better, have more structure and have more purpose?

Find someone to lead her, to guide her... aka hire a coach.

Welcome Sharpie into my life!  I'm so excited to introduce you all to my new coach, Carole Sharpless
I got to know her last year when I joined Team Trakkers.  She's who our team calls "Momma Bear" for so many reasons.  She the most caring, amazingly supportive woman, with the kind of personality that makes you think "is there anything I don't love about her?".  But what a lot of people don't know is that she's a kick ass triathlete. (click HERE if you want to see some of her results... I mean, hello... lots of podium finishes!!!) And when looking for a coach, those were two qualities I wanted... someone who knew they stuff (she has all the important coaching certifications, as well as a ton of experience) and someone who genuinely cared about the people they surround themselves with.

I started talking to Carole about some options of her coaching me, something I knew that she did, but didn't talk about much.  I wanted to make sure it was a good fit on my end and on hers.  I mean, this is a year long relationship.  And I wouldn't trust my season to just anyone.  Or my ass kickings.

After many heart to hearts (I'm telling you, I love her honesty and candidness with me about anything I throw at her), we both agreed that this will work.  I'm super excited.  I feel like my love for triathlon and for getting better is higher than ever.  I'm anxious to see what Carole throws at me and hope she knows that I'm going to work my butt off for her.  And like I told her... I can't wait to see what she does to me!

If you are looking for a coach and want to see if Carole might be a good fit for you, visit her website HERE.  And if you want a good laugh, make sure you stop by her blog and give her some love.  She's funny people... like snort out loud when you read kind of funny!

You know, coaching IS a very personal decision.  And I'm confident that I picked the right person to lead me through this year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Moving on up...

Things are looking up for the Kingery's.  I buried a Saint Joseph statue on Tuesday of last week, upside-down, facing our house as instructed on the packaging (don't mock me for buying a kit for this... yes they sell them and you would have too if you saw the gleaming reviews on Amazon and the small $5 price tag).  You see, I've heard far too many stories of people burying said statue and getting an offer on their house.  Our home had been on the market just shy of two months and although we've had showings, we've had no interest.  What did we have to lose?  We were super serious throughout the whole burying processes (besides the hot pink buff that Tom was wearing on his head the whole night, and me practically crying from laughter through the prayer as we stood, holding hands in our entry way, reciting the words that the kit sent with us, Tom, still in his pink buff). But other than that, it was totally serious...

Low and behold, we got a call on Wednesday that someone wanted to see our house on Thursday.  By Friday our realtor called with some questions from the buyer.  Saturday and Sunday, Tom and I were cautiously optimistic that their person was interested, while not getting our hopes up too much.

Monday we got the call... the lady made us an offer on the house.  We countered.  She accepted.


I am so excited.  I know that a lot can happen between now and the closing date (which happens to be 1/13/12), but we're moving (literally) forward with things.  I never imagined that we'd get an offer within two months of our house being listed.  Or what we'd sell for 98.9% of our listing price.  But, it's all coming together for us.  We fly our Sunday to look for houses in Atlanta on Monday and Tuesday.  And hopefully bu Christmas, we've found our new house.

Holy smokes... I could be sitting in a huge bathtub (that's one of my requirements of the new house) with a glass of wine on my birthday (which happens to be February 5th... don't worry, you have time to shop).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My beginning...

I recently found out that I was selected to be a FitFluential Ambassador.  This was really a cool thing for me because the ladies who have founded and grown FitFluential saw me as not only passionate about living a healthy, fitness oriented lifestyle, but also influential in the online and offline community in which I associate.  That's pretty cool.
The FitFluential concept stems from a balance of four ideas - Eat, Sleep, Move and Enjoy.  It's about fitting fitness into your life (aka... you don't have to be obsessed, you just need to make it work).  As I'm finding out more and more about what being a FitFluential Ambassador will mean for me in 2012, I'm getting more and more exciting.  I'm really part of an extraordinary group of men and women who share the same passion as me... living a balanced, healthy lifestyle.

One of the topics that we've started talking about as a group is the concept of just getting started. It's a perfect time of year to start living this balanced life. We all have a ":my beginning" story... and I don't know that I've ever shared mine.

Throughout my childhood, I was always active.  I played basketball, softball, and soccer.  I took dance classes.  I ran track (briefly... in middle school).  I loved spending my days running around the neighborhood, riding my bike and rollerblading.  When I went got to middle school and high school, I focused on basketball and soccer.  I was the captain of our freshman and jv basketball team for two years and a three year varsity letter recipient in soccer.  I ended up quitting my senior year due to some conflicts with the coach (aka, he was a jerk and I was a 17 year old who thought she knew better... which I probably did).  I continued playing club soccer for the next year. When I went to college, I ended up playing soccer for our school's team my freshman year.  But going into my sophomore year, we had a coaching change which scared me away, as well as a full class load as a bio-chem major.  See, at my school, you missed games and practices for classes, not the other way around.  I would have missed most of my season.  And that's when I stopped being active.  Completely stopped. 

By the time I graduated in 2002, I had gained about 35 pounds.  At the time, my mom was going through an amazing transformation of her body through weight watchers and one afternoon, while at their house, my dad told me I looked chunky. 

That's all it took. 

I know that he loved me unconditionally, but his always tall, lanky, athletic little girl had let herself go and it was showing.  So I joined weight watchers.  I learned about portions, and the value of eating more balanced food (I loved weight watchers in that I could eat what I wanted, but I know that I had more points to spend, the better I ate).  By January of 2003, I had lost about 25 of those pounds that I had gained in college and decided I needed something else to keep me going. 

I signed up for a half marathon - I just wanted to walk it.  This wasn't anything that anyone in my family had ever done.  But my mom had been walking with her weight watcher partner and they had signed up to walk a half that April.  She was my inspiration.  She had changed her life and I was on the way to doing the same.  So I slowly started  training.

I lived with my sister in a condo that had a gym.  So I went to the treadmill.  I was always alone in the gym so I'd put on MTV and walk. I eventually decided to try to run.  I remember the first time, setting the treadmill to maybe 5.5 and "jogging".  I was gasping for air, convinced that I had asthma or something because of the burning in my lungs.  That lasted about a minute.  I walked some more.  Each day I added more and more running, increasing not only the distance, but also the speed.  Before I knew it, I was running at a constant 10:00/mile pace for a mile... then two... then three.  My mind started to change and I decided that I wouldn't just walk my first half marathon, but that I would do a run/walk program.

Then I met my Tom.  He was a football player turned marathon runner.  I told him about my goals to run/walk the half and he totally supported me.  He didn't know the "old" me, the overweight me.  He only knew what I told him I had worked through, and saw my potential.  He challenged me to run the half.  And I did just that in April (totally to impress him).  I crossed the finish line in 2:11:00 - exactly a 10:00 mile.  I was over the moon.

I called Tom that night and told him what I had accomplished.  Instead of telling me how great it was (well he did that too of course), but he simply said "let's run a marathon together".  A what?  There was no way that I could double what I had just done that day.  But he reminded me that it takes baby steps, exactly like it did to go from gasping for air when I first started training to running the half.  I was on board.

For the next 6 months, we trained together and in October 2003, we crossed the finish line together, holding hands, of the Chicago Marathon.  I cried and said "I will never do that again".

Ironman distance races.  I've won races, and my age group, and I've joined a team.  I tell everyone I can about my passion because it's not just a hobby, it's who I am, it's what I love.  It's become my LIFESTLYE.

People have questioned my love of triathlon.  I've lost friends over it.  They didn't "get" why I would choose a hundred mile bike ride over "pool days" with the girls and margarita nights.  They didn't see that I balanced that... I could do those things AND the things I loved.  My family has come to learn that I need to get a workout in to feel good, to be happy, to get my day going.  You might want to be cuddled up on the couch (and I most likely want to do that too), but I'll do it after a swim, or a bike, or a run.  That's just me. 

This lifestyle has changed me.  I've grown to be more confident in my skin (and I'll be the first to admit that I'm not 100% there, but I'm working on it).  I love challenges and pushing my own limits.  I know that my body can do things that most people doubt.  I have learned that the words "I'll never do that again" are usually replaced with "when can I do that again".

Thinking back to when I started, here are my 7 things that changed my life:

  1. Start small - don't make a goal that might be attainable, but will frustrate you if you don't hit right away.  I started with losing 5 pounds.  Then 10 pounds. Then 10%.  Then 20 pounds.  I ran for 1 minute, than 2, then upped my speed to 5.6, and 5.7.  If you start and say "I'm going to run 5 miles today", you won't. 
  2. Reward yourself when you hit small milestones, but with things other than food - if you ran more in a 30 minute workout that you walked, splurge one something like a new running top or maybe a pedicure.  Something that is going to motivate you to keep moving.  Food rewards only sets you back.  
  3. Tell people about your goals.  Everyone that I knew, knew that I was on weight watchers.  They knew that I was signed up for the half.  And I asked them to check on me so that I was accountable.  No need to be embarrassed of where you are starting... we all have to have a "beginning".
  4. Don't worry about looking funny.  I remember being so happy that my gym was empty because I was a big girl trying to run and I'm sure it wasn't pretty.  But thinking back, I would have done it if the gym was busy.  I had every right to be there.  I still look funny when I run (I run with my thumbs up).  But whatever... I'm telling everyone that I'm awesome... that's why I do it!
  5. Be patient.  It took me a long time for my lungs to stop burning.  And it took me a long time before I could run a mile.  And then before I could run two miles.  It took me months to lose 35 pounds. It's not a fast process... 
  6. Along with #5, don't compare yourself to others.  It's hard to do when someone in a similar situation to you (or so you think) is skinnier, faster, stronger, etc. than you.  You don't know their story, their "beginning" and you don't know how hard they've worked to get there.  Just focus on you, your accomplishments and remember that's all that matters.
  7. Keep smiling... even when it gets hard, and it will, fake it till you can make it.  There are days when I wanted to give up.  There are days I still want to give up.  But I choose to do these things.  If I do them with a scowl, it's because I'm not enjoying it.  And if you don't enjoy it, why do it?  Find something that makes you smile and stick with that!
What is you "my beginning" story and what tips would you give to someone just starting to write their story?

If you want to be involved with the FitFluential community, come join as a FitFluential Enthusiast - FitFluential is open to everyone who is passionate about fitness and living a healthy lifestyle.